New story in Technology from Time: Facebook Just Published Its Sexual Harassment Policy. Here’s Why

Heidi Swartz, Facebook’s head of employment law, likes to use the example of a senior employee inviting a junior employee up to his hotel room — after he has told her that he will be providing feedback on her job performance. Perhaps he isn’t her direct manager. Perhaps he truly wants to show her the view. That’s the kind of scenario that employees might hear at a training. “Everybody relates to examples,” Swartz says.

The power of example is also the reason that Facebook published the company’s policies on sexual harassment and bullying on Friday, along with information about how complaints are investigated when they arise. (And, at a company with 23,165 employees, they do arise, though Facebook isn’t sharing numbers.) “We don’t think our policy is necessarily the best one out there,” Swartz says. “We’re hoping to start a discussion.”

Facebook is doing this partly to help smaller companies, which might [...]  read more

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New story in Technology from Time: I Finally Found the Droids I Was Looking For — But Are They Right For My Kids?

Every Christmas in the ’80s, I wanted the same thing as many other pint-sized Star Wars fans: a robot sidekick to call my own. And not just any old droid would do: It had to be an R2-D2, specifically one that could drop its third leg down and cruise around the world at my side.

Growing up in the Death Star era, our entire generation thought it had “The Force.” But eventually we realized that moving objects with our thoughts and duping people with Jedi mind tricks were all in our imaginations. But droids—they were real, or at least they could be, one day. Until then, we waited, pushing around plastic figurines by hand, and making all the bleeps and bloops on our own.

This year, however, I finally got my wish when a bunch of toy droids arrived on my doorstep. And after spending hours playing with these robo-buddies, I’m both impressed and concerned, wondering how different I’d be if had gotten that 80’s dream bot after all.

The first Astromech droid [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: Bitcoin Is Skyrocketing and it Just Hit $17,000

(TOKYO) — Bitcoin surged past $17,000 Thursday as the frenzy surrounding the virtual currency escalated just days before it starts trading on major U.S. exchanges. Bitcoin has gained more than $5,000 in just the past two days.

At the same time, there are fresh concerns about the security of bitcoin and other virtual currencies after NiceHash, a company that mines bitcoins on behalf of customers, said it is investigating a breach that may have resulted in the theft of about $70 million worth of bitcoin.

Research company Coindesk said that a wallet address referred to by NiceHash users indicates that about 4,700 bitcoins had been stolen. NiceHash said it will stop operating for 24 hours while it verifies how many bitcoins were taken. Wallet is a nickname for an online account.

As of 11:15 a.m. EST, bitcoin was valued at $17,482, according to Coinbase, the largest bitcoin exchange. At the start of the year, one bitcoin was worth less than $1,000.

The surge in the price and the hack of [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: Now Your Favorite Celebrities Will Answer Your Google Searches

The next time you Google a question like, “Can Will Ferrell really play the drums?” the actor may very well answer you himself.

Google is launching a new feature for its mobile search engine that allows celebrities to answer commonly asked questions in the form of video selfies, the company announced Thursday. The feature will be available in Google’s mobile app and on the mobile web across iOS and Android in the United States. The company is currently focused on mobile, but says it will eventually bring the feature to desktop search as well.

For now, Google’s mobile search engine will include answers from 11 celebrities, including Priyanka Chopra, Will Ferrell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gina Rodriguez, Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams, Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, and Dominique Ansel. Google says it will include answers from additional high-profile figures over the coming months.

If you search for a question with a pre-recorded video answer, [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: The Top Viral YouTube Videos of 2017

Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has become one of the biggest platforms for new-age Internet celebrities and one-hit wonders alike. That was no different in 2017: YouTube’s top 10 trending videos for the year have garnered more than 633 million views collectively, up by 83 million compared to last year’s list. They were watched for a collective 40 million hours, and the channels that created them have more than 55 million total subscribers. Here’s a look at the YouTube videos that got the most attention in 2017.

1. Until We Will Become Dust – Oyster Masked | THE MASK SINGER 2

This performance from a popular singing competition in Asia was YouTube’s top trending video of the year with more than 181 million views. The show, called The Mask Singer, requires performers to wear elaborate masks to conceal their identities. It’s been produced in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and China, but this particular video is from a Thailand show.

2. ED SHEERAN – Shape of You | Kyle Hanagami Choreography

With more than 118 million views, Los Angeles-based choreographer Kyle Hanagami’s “Shape [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: Mark Zuckerberg Takes Leave from Facebook to Focus on His Family

(NEW YORK) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’s taking parental leave this month to spend more time with his daughters.

Zuckerberg said on Facebook and Instagram over the weekend that “you’ll hear from me a little less” during this time.

Facebook offers four months of paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers — generous for corporate America, although some tech companies offer more.

The paid leave doesn’t need to be taken at once. Zuckerberg took a month off after his second daughter, August, was born in August. Max was born in 2015.

When he took his first leave, Zuckerberg wrote that he’s “pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”

New story in Technology from Time: The 15 Best Nintendo Switch Games to Play Right Now

When the Nintendo Switch launched in March, some jokingly called it a “Zelda machine.” That’s because there wasn’t much of a reason to buy the console other than to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Now, nine months later, the Switch boasts an expansive roster of impressive games that range from ports of cherished third-party releases to new Nintendo titles that are bound to be remembered as classics.

Here’s a look at some of the best games you can play for the Nintendo Switch right now.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Some Nintendo Switch are well-suited for passing the time during a quick commute to work. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not one of those games: It’s best enjoyed when you have a substantial block of time to sink away into the game, allowing you to get lost in its sprawling world. The latest RPG entry from Monolith Soft and Nintendo follows a scavenger names Rex and his sentient weapon Pyra, as they traverse massive, living landmasses known as Titans. [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: The Winklevoss Twins Now Appear to Be Bitcoin Billionaires

The Winklevoss twins helped turn bitcoin into a $1 billion baby — so perhaps it’s fitting that they also become one of bitcoin’s first billionaires.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who famously won a $65 million settlement from a lawsuit against Facebook in 2011, later used some of that money to purchase what they said was $11 million worth of bitcoin in 2013. That was about 1% of all bitcoin in circulation at the time. They later also spent almost $1 million to buy more bitcoin later in 2013, right after Silk Road, an illicit marketplace on the so-called dark web, was seized by the FBI. While some bitcoin users were afraid that Silk Road represented a significant amount of spending in the cryptocurrencies, the twins saw opportunity.

Assuming that the brothers have not sold any of those holdings, that stake in bitcoin is now worth well over $1 billion, given the cryptocurrency’s price Monday of about $11,500.

Read more:  [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: Facebook’s Newest App Is a Chat Service for Kids

Facebook is launching a new chat app for kids, the company announced Monday.

The app, called Messenger Kids, allows children to send messages and photos and video chat with specific contacts that have been approved by their parents. It’s completely independent of the flagship Facebook and Messenger apps, and is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.

Facebook is aiming Messenger Kids at parents who want to use Facebook to stay in touch with children under the age of 13 who are too young to sign up for a regular account on the site. The app is launching for iPhone immediately, but will eventually come to Android and Amazon Fire devices.

There’s a simple reason Facebook is starting to focus on children: Kids are already using technology anyway. In a study conducted by Facebook and the National Parent Teacher Association, 81% of 1,200 American parents surveyed reported that their children started using social media apps between the ages of eight and [...]  read more

New story in Technology from Time: Facebook’s Newest App Is a Chat Service for Kids

Facebook is launching a new chat app for kids, the company announced Monday.

The app, called Messenger Kids, allows children to send messages and photos and video chat with specific contacts that have been approved by their parents. It’s completely independent of the flagship Facebook and Messenger apps, and is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.

Facebook is aiming Messenger Kids at parents who want to use Facebook to stay in touch with children under the age of 13 who are too young to sign up for a regular account on the site. The app is launching for iPhone immediately, but will eventually come to Android and Amazon Fire devices.

There’s a simple reason Facebook is starting to focus on children: Kids are already using technology anyway. In a study conducted by Facebook and the National Parent Teacher Association, 81% of 1,200 American parents surveyed reported that their children started using social media apps between the ages of eight and [...]  read more